October 27, 2009

"Ralph gets to luxuriate in the purity of his irrelevance."

Brilliant slam of Ralph Nader, by Barney Frank. Meanwhile, the internet is abuzz with that other quotable word-string: "We are trying on every front to increase the role of government."

101 comments:

Peter V. Bella said...

Barney Frank? One of the main perpetrators of the mortgage meltdown? They guy who wants to fix the problems he was responsible for causing? Aided and abetted by Chris Dodd, Joe Biden, and others?

Nader is irrelevant and a hypocrite. Barney Frank is a criminal.

Quayle said...

Well, that may be, but I'm not sure it will hold up, even if they do legislate it.

For example, how in any way is my driving over to my doctor, or even to the hospital, interstate commerce?

Or doesn't the left care at all about the constitution now?

save_the_rustbelt said...

The Republicans blew the election, the liberals won everything, so what did we expect?

Heck, George Bush expanded government like there was no tomorrow, when he wasn't busy hamstringing regulators, of course.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Under the current "no sillier than Wickard" standard, going to see your doctor is indeed interstate commerce. The courts aren't going to help us on this one.

Bissage said...

Purity of irrelevance?

Messrs. Nader and Frank are both part of the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids!

Hoosier Daddy said...

I simply can't take someone seriously when they sound like Elmer Fudd.

Or are too stupid to realize their boyfriend was running a sausage mill out of his house.

wv-zooth How Bawney Fwank pronounces 'tooth'

garage mahal said...

Barney Frank is GAY!

Fred4Pres said...

The problem Ann is Barney Frank is lying. He fought tighter regulations by Republicans, who were worried about unqualified buyers defaulting on loans. Frank pushed for less government oversight. Barney Frank and Chris Dodd helped more than most in government create the finanical mess we are in. Yes Republicans and other Democrats contributed too, but Barney Frank was central to the mess.

Barney Frank is a funny orator and gifted in throwing barbs, but he is a deeply dishonest person on many many levels.

garage mahal said...

Chris Dodd!

traditionalguy said...

We are lost if these guys and gals can get re-elected for term after term while they intentionally create a government induced disaster that they offer to fix for a price paid to them under the table. It has become a torture death by 1000 cuts. And the smart ones are now positioning themselves to become the government officials in the sussessor Regime that replaces the old USA that they have imploded for money and status among the organised Maoist community. We need to support a Sarah Palin type with some guts to fight back, whether she is an unpolished, mere breeder woman from Alaska or not.

Fred4Pres said...

The Gentle Nader* may be insufferable, but on this issue he is right about Frank.

* There is a science fiction book by Greg Bear that has survivors of a post nuclear world living on an asteroid following the Gentle Nader and his teachings.

master cylinder said...

"...a Sarah Palin type with some guts to fight back, whether she is an unpolished, mere breeder woman from Alaska or not..."
yep, I really want that for you guys.

AJ Lynch said...

These days, Nader espouses a plan where "good rich folks" like Gates, Buffett, Soros, et al pool their wealth to change the system and save the world. Yet, for years, Nader was the guy who demonized wealth and capitalists. You could not make this stuff up.

traditionalguy said...

Master cylinder...Thanks for your support. Keep on sending in those large bundled contributions to the Rogue for President Committee. We promise that she will be the GOP nominee so that Barak can lose to a woman like he has always feared will happen to him.

Robert Cook said...

"The Gentle Nader* may be insufferable, but on this issue he is right about Frank."

Nader is right on many issues. And, he's the only candidate in three of the last four Presidential elections I've had the stomach to pull the lever for. (In the exception, I should have also have voted for Nader, but my loathing for G.W.Bush got the better of my good sense.)

master cylinder said...

yes, we all fear that.
tell me where to donate, Im ready.

MadisonMan said...

The other quote -- increasing the role of government -- really should include the part about regulatory roles, as he is talking about derivatives. It seems like some Government oversight -- effective oversight, that is -- might have helped a couple years ago.

former law student said...

[Barney Frank] fought tighter regulations by Republicans, who were worried about unqualified buyers defaulting on loans.

When, where, and how did Barney Frank do this fighting?

And are you trying to tell us that only Democrats worked for Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, etc.? Because all those firms bundled up the risky loans, and with the help of Moody's and S&P, sold them as investment-grade securities.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Barney Frank is GAY!

Thank you Mr. Obvious.

Triangle Man said...

For example, how in any way is my driving over to my doctor, or even to the hospital, interstate commerce?

That ship sailed into the mists of absurdity with Gonzales v. Raich.

Joan said...

That clip is a rich mine of quotable material. What got me was Frank bringing up Hurricane Katrina. Katrina! "Republicans ruined government and now when we try and do something, people think, 'These are the guys who screwed up Hurricane Katrina'" -- as if FEMA and business regulation are even remotely related, as if that's an even remotely plausible thought-process.

I'm embarrassed to be from Massachusetts and I'm glad I moved away. They keep re-electing this (erudite, I'll grant) idiot.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"These two entities—Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac—are not facing any kind of financial crisis," said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. "The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing."

Linky

Hoosier Daddy said...

What got me was Frank bringing up Hurricane Katrina. Katrina!

I had no idea at all that Governor Blanco and Ray "Chocolate City" Nagin were Republicans.

Meade said...

No Nader -- no deadlocked election 2000 -- no president Bush -- no president Obama.

No Obama -- no getting to luxuriate in the pomposity of big government for Barney.

kathleen said...

fls, your obvious ignorance of recent history does not a rebuttal make. You seem to think it does.

AJ Lynch said...

Meade:

Good point. I would say Nader has been mostly insignificant with one significant exception.


wv = prees ....light starch

MadisonMan said...

Joan, re: Katrina, I think Rep. Frank does make a point, sort of. If Republicans think Government is The Enemy, it's not a hard stretch to think they'll screw up the Govt if in power. Because they don't believe in Govt helping, or something like that.

But that's the Federal Level. It does ignore what Nagin and what's-her-name the Governor didn't do. As they are Democrats who think Govt can do things, I have to blame simple ineptitude on their parts.

chickenlittle said...

Don't blame Barney Frank, blame the people who keep reelecting him, projecting themselves onto the nation as a whole. Aren't they pretty much the same people who inflicted Ted Kennedy on us for so long?

Florida said...

"Barney Frank is a funny orator and gifted in throwing barbs, but he is a deeply dishonest person on many many levels."

He gives fantastic head, though. Truly a Hoover of the first order.

TMink said...

Barney Frank told the truth????

I predict the Apocalypse.

Trey

Meade said...

Frankly, I have reached the nadir of my interest in the heads of both Barney and Ralph.

Unless we're talking about Barney, George W's dog. I wonder how Barney the dog is doing.

G Joubert said...

Good point. I would say Nader has been mostly insignificant with one significant exception.

Hey, don't forget the Corvair.

former law student said...

"These two entities—Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac—are not facing any kind of financial crisis," said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. "

Once again, Republicans proudly display their impotence. Despite a Republican President, a Republican-majority House and a Republican-majority Senate, one remark by Barney Frank trumps any effort at reform. But did it?

From the NYT article cited in the linked article:

After the [Snow] hearing, Representative Michael G. Oxley, chairman of the Financial Services Committee, and Senator Richard Shelby, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, announced their intention to draft legislation based on the administration's proposal. Industry executives said Congress could complete action on legislation before leaving for recess in the fall.

''The current regulator does not have the tools, or the mandate, to adequately regulate these enterprises,'' Mr. Oxley said at the hearing. ''We have seen in recent months that mismanagement and questionable accounting practices went largely unnoticed by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight,'' the independent agency that now regulates the companies.

''These irregularities, which have been going on for several years, should have been detected earlier by the regulator,'' he added.

The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, which is part of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, was created by Congress in 1992 after the bailout of the savings and loan industry and concerns about regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which buy mortgages from lenders and repackage them as securities or hold them in their own portfolios.

Neither Oxley nor Shelby ever introduced any such reform legislation. The one man who did, Rep. Baker, watched his bill die in an obscure, Republican-controlled, subcommittee.

Conclusion: Republicans could not pour piss out of a boot if the instructions were on the heel.

AprilApple said...

I wish Barney Frank would "Luxuriate in the purity of his irrelevance."

You know, special thanks for his participation in our Fannie/Freddie Big Government sponsored housing crisis.

AprilApple said...

Barney Frank is the ultimate economic illiterate. But in this country - we celebrate that!

Hope and Change.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I think Rep. Frank does make a point, sort of. If Republicans think Government is The Enemy, it's not a hard stretch to think they'll screw up the Govt if in power. Because they don't believe in Govt helping, or something like that.

Do Republicans think the government is the enemey or simply has limited and defined responsiblities?

On the other hand Katrina showed that big government with Democrats behind the wheel (Nagin and Blanco)failed miserably to meet even the most basic of expectations when a monster hurrican is coming at them.

Its not a Democrat/republican issue, its a simple matter of common sense and competence. Not exactly two things that immediately come to mind when I think of government.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Once again, Republicans proudly display their impotence. Despite a Republican President, a Republican-majority House and a Republican-majority Senate, one remark by Barney Frank trumps any effort at reform. But did it?

Sorry to piss on your parade FLS but that wasn't the point I was making. Rather, he was quite content with the rest of them to do the see and hear no evil routine.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Conclusion: Republicans could not pour piss out of a boot if the instructions were on the heel.

Heh. Hey, let me know how that health care reform is going with a Democrat White House, Huge Democrat house and that filibuster proof Senate.

Failsauce

former law student said...

[Barney Frank] fought tighter regulations by Republicans, who were worried about unqualified buyers defaulting on loans.

When, where, and how did Barney Frank do this fighting?

I'm sorry Hoosier, I thought the link you cited was in response to this question of mine. Carry on.

Alan said...

You didn't complete the sentence in the Barney Frank quote...

"We are trying on every front to increase the role of government in the regulatory area."

Anyone who doesn't think regulation is needed after the banking collapse hasn't been paying attention. For background you should watch Frontline's The Warning. From there you'll recognized the forces that gave us the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000.

Then one may wonder if the people who are "abuzz" about the Barney Frank quote are not caught up in the same dogma that brought on the collapse.

former law student said...

special thanks for [Barney Frank's] participation in our Fannie/Freddie Big Government sponsored housing crisis.

I'm reluctant to let this particular Sean Hannity talking point go unquestioned. What did Barney Frank do and when did he do it? "Make a speech" is not going to cut it.

The references to Frank's sexuality make it all the more incomprehensible that a Republican-controlled government could not thwart one nancy boy. Thank goodness titus is a Republican.

former law student said...

I meant Florida's reference, after garage brought it up.

edutcher said...

Quayle said...

Well, that may be, but I'm not sure it will hold up, even if they do legislate it.

For example, how in any way is my driving over to my doctor, or even to the hospital, interstate commerce?

Or doesn't the left care at all about the constitution now?


Not since Woody Wilson.

Bissage said...

Messrs. Nader and Frank are both part of the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids!

I hope that's irony or something. Actually, you're probably closer to the truth than many people would like to think.

I'm sure both of them cried the night the Berlin Wall came down. After all, isn't it the goal of the current administration and much of Congress to turn us into Venezuela?

WV "suptowel" One used in the evening, different from the lunchtowel and the breakfstowel.

AJ Lynch said...

WSJ had an article about a Californian who, in 2005, re-mortgaged a home he bought in 1970.

He was a retired govt worker with a $2,600 per month pension and he remortgaged for $400,000 or so.

Now he can't pay the mortgage so Bank of America, under pressure form the govt, wrote off the debt so he can stay in his home.

WTF? $400,000? How many other egregious, border-line fraud cases are out there? If there are 500,000 like this, what is that costing the rest of us? But he keeps his house? How is that right?

AJ Lynch said...

My point is Barney Frank and the love of his life, the Community Reinvestment Act, played a significant role in the real estate bubble!

chuckR said...

If Republicans think Government is The Enemy, it's not a hard stretch to think they'll screw up the Govt if in power.

If Democrats think Government is The Answer, it's not a hard stretch to think they'll screw up the Govt if in power.

MM, that's the missing bookend to your observation.

Having watched each party screw up repeatedly, for me the only sensible thing to do is vote for people who don't want to expand the power and responsibility of the Federal government. In aggregate, for decades our elected officials have acted like your six year old, who can barely ride a bike, but would be delighted to attempt to drive your car....

I only wish I could find electable people who would recognize that they already have more than they can handle.

WV - hamen - what you have with eggen

elHombre said...

fls wrote:
From the NYT article cited in the linked article: 'blah, blah, blah.' Republicans, Republicans ....

Read the last paragraph in the linked article, fls. Try to focus on the subject at hand, what Barney did or did not do regarding regulation of Fannie and Freddie.

Nobody here is endorsing Republican inaction on Fannie and Freddie, so your red herring is also a non sequitur.

Alan said...

AJ Lynch,

The CRA meme has been discredited over and over again outside of the RW echo chamber. But perhaps you could persuade someone like Larry Kudlow, Ben Stein, Phil Gramm, or some other RW financial expert to take the $100,000 CRA Challenge.

I can't wait to watch.

elHombre said...

The references to Frank's sexuality make it all the more incomprehensible that a Republican-controlled government could not thwart one nancy boy. Thank goodness titus is a Republican.

"References to Frank's sexuality" on this blog today have something to do with understanding Republicans interaction with Barney in 2003-8?

Now I'm beginning to understand. Nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh.

WV "sanlogi" = Latin for, "Why fls' comments are unintelligible."

Methadras said...

Nader is a hypocritical douche that things that championing his leftist anti-corporate ideology will somehow earn him a place in the white house because he's been championing leftist anti-corporate ideology since dirt was new. His hypocrisy comes from the fact that he's a multi-millionaire that has derived his income from corporations. Just like Michael Moore does. However, watching Barney 'The Human Cess Pool' Frank extoll on the virtues of luxuriated irrelevance is like watching watching a dog take a shit. Barney Frank should be in prison for the financial crimes he's perpetrated on the American public and he makes Madoff look like a kindergartner. The man is a financial illiterate. He has no business coming anywhere near anything related to money, much less a checkbook and seeing him expound on financial matters is akin to have open heart surgery awake. How this man continually is voted into office is beyond me and only goes to show that he is the smartest man in his district. A district of retards. The day this piece of offal drops dead will be a good day and can't come to soon.

Alan said...

Suppose the Community Reinvestment Act did cause the financial crisis...

Florida said...

References to Frank's "sexuality" on this blog today have something to do with the fact that he takes cock up the keister.

A lot of people don't know that about him. They think he's just like all other politicians. But he's not.

He swallows other men's semen after suckling their penis', all the while knowing he is at significant risk of getting AIDS by engaging in so dangerous an activity.

That legitimately brings his judgment as a legislator into question. Frank is a risk taker; and we don't need risk takers among our top banking regulators.

Alex said...

garage has become a useless parody of himself.

TMink said...

Here is an article, one among many, that does indeed trace the difficulties in the banking and financial sector to the government intervention in the housing market through the CRA.

http://www.city-journal.org/2008/eon1030hh.html

Trey

Alex said...

MM:

oan, re: Katrina, I think Rep. Frank does make a point, sort of. If Republicans think Government is The Enemy, it's not a hard stretch to think they'll screw up the Govt if in power. Because they don't believe in Govt helping, or something like that.

Republicans believe in limited government, not no government. It's left-wing lies that keep perpetuating that image. Stop with the reckless, irresponsible lies. In fact you and all the other trolls here could be considered to be defendants in a slander suit if Michael Steele wishes so!

reader_iam said...

Florida: Would that last comment of yours apply to gay conservatives, too?

reader_iam said...

What about female risk-takers who swallow?

wv: belies

reader_iam said...

Republicans believe in limited government


They might be believe in it more, but that hardly means they believe in limited government.

The proof has been in the pudding.

Alan said...

TMink,

Fast forward from Oct. 30th 2008 and the article you linked to the June 26th 2009 post I linked, and I'll quote:

"Its not simply that the overwhelming amount of evidence points to many factors outside of the CRA, the actual results of CRA were minor. Relative to these other ginormous factors, the CRA impact is all but irrelevant. And to date, nobody has produced any data based evidence that the CRA was relevant to the crisis. Not one shred.

Until that evidence is produced, the CRA remains a marker, one that separates proponents of intellectually honest debate versus the parrots of partisan talking points, not worthy of your time or effort."

MadisonMan said...

How did the size of the Federal Government change under Republican President George W. Bush?

Florida said...

"What about female risk-takers who swallow?"

According to the University of Michigan, the following groups are at high risk for contracting HIV infection and possible development of AIDS:

* sexually active homosexual men
* bisexual men and their male and female partners
* IV drug users and their sexual partners
* people who share needles (for IV drug use, tattooing, or piercing)
* heterosexual men and women with more than one sexual partner
* people given transfusions of blood or blood products in countries where the blood is not rigorously tested
* people who have sex with an HIV-infected partner or with anyone in the above groups if they do not always use a latex or polyurethane condom
* babies born to or breast-fed by HIV-infected mothers.

Barney Frank is at high risk for getting AIDS due to his choice of sexual partners (gay men) and high-risk behaviors (gay sex).

According to the University of Michigan, he should be tested for AIDS.

http://www.med.umich.edu/1libr/aha/aha_aidsr_crs.htm

Hoosier Daddy said...

How did the size of the Federal Government change under Republican President George W. Bush?

Maybe that's why I call myself a conservative rather than a Republican.

Scott M said...

Conclusion: Republicans could not pour piss out of a boot if the instructions were on the heel.

True. However, citing the Democrats primary process (specifically MI and FL) during the last presidential election, I'd have to say that nobody is running slower toward a MENSA meeting. With a nice slice of elitism (ie superdelegates) thrown in to boot.

Just out of curiosity, Nader was called a hypocrite by someone above. I'm curious as to why that would be. I don't much care for him, but he seems to have always come from the same point on the compass.

Nader is the "gentle man" an entire psuedo-religion is founded on in Greg Bear's "Eon" and they lived IN the asteroid, not on it...(geek snobbishness,sorry).

Florida said...

Republicans believe in limited government

Reader_Ian has a very good point.

Republicans do not believe in limited federal government. Some members of the party do, but the party itself does not. And the evidence for this is what the GOP actually does (as opposed to what they say) when they have had the power to reduce government.

They haven't done it.

Under George W. Bush, the size and scope of the Federal Government was significantly expanded.

The size and scope of the federal government ONLY grows ... no matter whether Democrats or Republicans are in charge.

So the only solution is to vote them ALL OUT.

We must wipe from the face of our government all existing incumbent politicians of both parties. Democrats aren't the enemy. Republicans aren't the enemy.

Incumbents are the enemy.

AJ Lynch said...

Alan:

If you are defending Congress and its leaders from blame in the mortgage meltdown, you are a plain dumb ideologue.

I looked at your link to the $100K challenge, your expert blames everything but Barney Frank.

[I have noticed most of the lib trolls here use a first name only as their ID?]

MadisonMan said...

Incumbents are the enemy.

Now you're talking!

Alan said...

Sorry AJ Lynch, you're the dumb ideologue who's blaming Barney Frank and the CRA for the banking collapse. I mentioned the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000. That didn't get written into law without congress. I also linked the Frontline show "The Warning" where a heck of a lot of substance lays blame on both sides of the isle--but more so on an an extreme version of Laissez-faire economics. The "suppose" post I linked above lays to rest the nonsense about the CRA for anyone who isn't a dumb ideologue--you withstanding.

Scott M said...

@Alan

For my own part, I think there's a definite difference between blaming the whole thing on Frank and Dodd, which is patently ridiculous, and holding Frank accountable for his part in the whole schibang.

The problem I have with Frank is that he has categorically denied any wrong-doing (malicious or otherwise) whatsoever. I've seen him fervently defend himself by attacking others..

There's plenty of blame to go around and I'm of the mindset to "vote da bums out" en masse.

Alan said...

I blame the "experts" from Wall Street who guided our elected leaders down the path of doom. And I'm frightened that some of the same people who caused the crises are tasked to fix it. If you haven't seen the Frontline show The Warning I can not recommend it enough.

EDH said...

Video of how Frank and other Democrats treated the regulators from OFHEO in congressional hearings.

Cedarford said...

"Ralph gets to luxuriate in the purity of his irrelevance."

Brilliant slam of Ralph Nader, by Barney Frank.

Agreed. And Republicans who wish to luxuriate in the purity of their irrelevance by calling anyone who lives outside the Deep South who believes in evolution and electable a RINO should heed Barney's words.

Yes the messenger is a deeply flawed and dishonest man, but he is part of the ranks of Democrats who are dishonest, but also very smart and cunning...as opposed to the ideological idiot wing inhabited by people like Boxer and Biden and Pelosi.

Think of the former wing as folks like Schumer, Hillary Clinton, Feinstein, Waxman, Nadler, Frank....Yale and Harvard Law types with unbridled ambition, an agenda, personal greed for wealth&power - and no moral compass.

Paul Snively said...

Alan: I also linked the Frontline show "The Warning" where a heck of a lot of substance lays blame on both sides of the isle--but more so on an an extreme version of Laissez-faire economics.

The problem with the assertion that the financial meltdown can be blamed, to any degree at all, on "an extreme version of Laissez-faire economics" is that it doesn't pass the giggle test. See, for example, here. This particular financial meltdown occurred among some of the most heavily regulated industries in world history.

AJ Lynch said...

Alan:

Just so I undertand your position- you do not agree when I say CRA was a material, contributing factor to the housing bubble?

t-man said...

fls -

Here's a start. In a House Financial Services Committee hearing in Sept. 2003, Frank objected to greater oversight over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac stating:

"Rep. Frank: I do think I do not want the same kind of focus on safety and soundness that we have in OCC [Office of the Comptroller of the Currency] and OTS [Office of Thrift Supervision]. I want to roll the dice a little bit more in this situation towards subsidized housing. . ."

Source.

Joseph said...

When was CRA passed?

rocketeer67 said...

What did Barney Frank do and when did he do it?

FLS, I realize this is the micro level when you are looking for macro examples, but it will have to do:

In Boston in 2007, his office directly intervened to overturn my decision to disqualify 20 families with backend ratios in excess of 55 for affordable homeownership units, even though banks had "qualified" them for mortgages to fulfill CRA obligations imposed on them by the federal government. Silly me - I just didn't think it was reponsible to put them in HO units since they clearly didn't have the resources to make a go of it, mortgage approvals notwithstanding. All of them subsequently defaulted on their mortgages. He is personally responsible, therefore, for 20 families being out on the street right now.

This is just one personal example. I can provide you with others.

I had a front row seat to the train-wreck that the real estate crisis perpetuated. I saw the wreck as it developed. And I know who started the whole mess.

AJ Lynch said...

Rocketeer mentioned "Backend ratios".

That sounds like an area in which Barney Frank is an expert!

AJ Lynch said...

A conservative will admit Bush & company made serious mistakes in invading Iraq and the war itself.

A liberal will never admit Dems like Barney Frank had some responsibility for the housing bubble and mortgage meltdown.

Alan said...

Paul Snively,

"The problem with the assertion that the financial meltdown can be blamed, to any degree at all, on "an extreme version of Laissez-faire economics" is that it doesn't pass the giggle test. See, for example, here. This particular financial meltdown occurred among some of the most heavily regulated industries in world history."

Except for the fact that Credit Default Swaps (CDS) are largely unregulated along with the derivatives they were insuring--the collateralized debt obligations (CDOs)--all the crap AIG and the investment banks were peddling. Your article from the America Enterprise Institute was a swing and a miss.

Methadras said...

garage mahal said...

Barney Frank is GAY!


Hey that's pretty funny coming from an Althouse Stooge.

Methadras said...

Well, since the gauntlet has already been thrown, then one would have to ask, what does Barney Frank luxuriate himself in?

A: Another man's rectum. Budoomp boomp!!! Pish!!!

Methadras said...

Alex said...

Republicans believe in limited government, not no government.


Most Republicans in DC do not believe in limited government. They more or less believe in a less intrusive government. However, their actions speak louder than their words, because in DC it's about political protection. That is why incumbency is so hard to beat. Frankly, many Republicans are not conservatives, nor is being a Republican synonymous with being a conservative. Oh, the leftists can wail all they want, but they don't understand conservatism any more than Nancy Pelosi does. I do not believe at this point there is a party strictly for conservatives, because there may be a need that could get met right there.

Chip Ahoy said...

Joseph, CRA is a series of acts signed by both Democratic and Republican presidents. It was a process that occurred over years, decades, in fact. Wikipedia has a decent and worthwhile if a bit lengthy summary. Well-meaning but misguided all, there's enough blame to go around.

former law student said...

rocketeer 67, I take my hat off to you. Many thanks for a concrete example of his twisting arms to get people into homes they couldn't afford to pay for.

Put it this way: Barney Frank's opposition -- words, mere words -- should not have stopped anyone who was serious about Fannie/Freddie reform. He was not superhuman. Congress did not hang on his every word. He spoke his mind.

Regarding the CRA: Here's an opinion from last December, on the effect of the CRA by the head of the FDIC:

“I want to give you my verdict on CRA: NOT guilty,” said FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair, according to a press release by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Before the Consumer Federation of America, Bair said Thursday she wanted to clear up the “myth” that the Community Reinvestment Act caused the financial crisis — and she set out to do so with vigor.

The Community Reinvestment Act — or CRA — is a federal law designed to encourage commercial banks and savings associations to meet the needs of borrowers in all segments of their communities, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. It has largely been criticized by conservative members of the GOP as promoting predatory lending practices.

“Point in fact,” she said, “only one in four higher-priced first mortgage loans were made by CRA-covered banks during the hey-day years of subprime mortgage lending. The rest were made by private independent mortgage companies and large bank affiliates not covered by CRA rules.”

And “Let me ask you,” she proceeded. “Where in the CRA does it say to make loans to people who can’t afford to repay? Nowhere.” The facts are simple, Bair said. The lending practices that are causing problems today were driven by a desire for more market share and revenue growth, not because the government encouraged certain lending practices.

Penny said...

Barney Frank consistently makes ad hominem attacks when debating, and then finishes off by bloviating his own nonsense sound bytes.

If he were appearing on my show, I would call him on it before he even starts to talk, and then when he does what he always does, call him on it again. He doesn't debate, he bullies.

elHombre said...

Frankly, many Republicans are not conservatives, nor is being a Republican synonymous with being a conservative.

It's possible Republicans will learn the significance of this in 2010. Tea Party protesters and other conservatives no longer consider Repubs the lesser of two evils. It is now Evil A versus Evil B.

It may require the complete immolation of the Republican Party in order to resurrect constitutional government in the US. And by then it may be too late.

Henry said...

FLS, nice pushback.

It's also worth noticing that Massachusetts isn't at all notable for foreclosures. Not compared to "the sand states".

Barney Frank is an example of political corruption, not a driver of it. Except for his unusual wit, he's sadly typical.

BTW, is it possible to ramp down the anti-gay slurs in the commentary? I'm talking about you, Florida. It's vile and unecessary. You don't score any points when you make yourself a bigot.

Eric said...

For example, how in any way is my driving over to my doctor, or even to the hospital, interstate commerce?

Wickard v. Filburn pretty much enlarged the Commerce Clause to include every possible human endeavor, even those that take place in foreign countries. Raich was just the latest logical extension of that thinking - grow a pot plant in your closet for your own personal consumption and it's interstate commerce.

So there's no doubt that driving to your doctor's office fits into the Commerce Clause - you're burning gas, after all, and if you should get in an accident it might affect jobs in Michigan. Besides, you're breathing, an activity which, as everyone knows, releases an EPA-regulated pollutant into the atmosphere that will probably end up in some other state. You got a license for that?

Cedarford said...

elHombre - It's possible Republicans will learn the significance of this in 2010. Tea Party protesters and other conservatives no longer consider Repubs the lesser of two evils. It is now Evil A versus Evil B.

It may require the complete immolation of the Republican Party in order to resurrect constitutional government in the US. And by then it may be too late.


What you appear to be urging is that conservatives split from Republicans, so Democrats can win so both moderate-conservative Republicans AND "movement conservatives" can luxuriate in the purity of their irrelevance while Dems call all the shots.

And keep in mind while many "movement conservatives" make a near-fetish about "Venerating the Sacred Parchment"....many flaws in the Constitution helped get us to our present state of semi-perdition.

1. Lack of a Constitutional bar to Congress not balancing a budget outside national emergency - or a bar against them printing as much money as they want to.

2. The Congressional seniority system, which ensures only a few powerful old people beholden to only 1/435th of the American public, most in "invulnerable" districts making them immune from election challenges - run the place.

3. The mistake of the Holy Founders granting lifetime tenure to judges who now function like a perverted Sanhedrin. Completely unaccountable to the People for as long as they live or care to serve. Usurping Executive powers and making fundamentally legislative decisions that should be made by The People through their elected representatives.

4. A Constitution that other nations have pointed out, and our own history points out - fosters opportunity for immense corruption or influencing by moneyed Elites. Notably, even in times of Hamilton and Jackson, by cabals of lawyers and NYC financiers.

5. Venerators are loathe to admit that any Amending against any organized opposition by the cabals and by any special interest group or any Senator objecting to it under influence - is now structually impossible. The last Amendment that passed against any organized opposition was the Poll Tax repeal over 45 years ago in 1962.
The Constitution - broken or obsolete in parts - and no longer fixable by the mechanism the Holy Founders deemed adequate 220 years ago.


Many conservatives fall outside the "Venerator" camp and say that to fix America, the Constitution needs to be fixed. The last time that happened, we needed a Civil War to create fundamental change.

Penny said...

"Frankly, many Republicans are not conservatives, nor is being a Republican synonymous with being a conservative."

We have some important elections coming up in my state in a few weeks, and the political propaganda is showing up in huge quantities, both on TV and in the mail. It's been a democratic state for as long as I can remember, but this time around I am noticing something VERY different. Rare is the written piece that does not talk about how the democratic candidates are "fiscal conservatives".

Most of us who follow the news know they are crooks who put this state in massive debt, but for those who like sound bytes "FISCAL CONSERVATIVE" might just be taken over by democrats in the blink of an eye.

I find this CHILLING, if not effective advertising, most assuredly learned from the Obama campaign. "Tell 'em what they want to hear. Worry about the consequences after you win."

Eric said...

Cedarford, while the Constitution isn't perfect you're making a lot of assumptions about life under the kind of changes you seem to favor.

1. Lack of a Constitutional bar to Congress not balancing a budget outside national emergency - or a bar against them printing as much money as they want to.

Have you noticed how lately every time a drop of rain falls or a blade of grass burns it gets declared a state of emergency? Such a bar would result in the same phenomenon - national "emergencies" would simply become routine, and Congress would behave no differently than it does today. This is, in fact, a common situation throughout the world.

Without the national emergency clause the first crisis would blow up the state.

2. The Congressional seniority system, which ensures only a few powerful old people beholden to only 1/435th of the American public, most in "invulnerable" districts making them immune from election challenges - run the place.

I'm no expert in this area, but as far as I know neither the seniority system or, indeed, congressional committees at all are coded into the document. Would you forbid Congress from setting procedural rules?

3. The mistake of the Holy Founders granting lifetime tenure to judges who now function like a perverted Sanhedrin. Completely unaccountable to the People for as long as they live or care to serve. Usurping Executive powers and making fundamentally legislative decisions that should be made by The People through their elected representatives.

I'm not sure you can declare lifetime tenure a "mistake". In places where justices don't have lifetime tenure they tend to turn into politicians, bending and swaying with the political winds. In this you're proceeding from a false assumption, that Congress is unable to reign in rogue justices. It's not true - for the most part what's going on is members of Congress are forcing the judiciary to do the dirty work while they preen in front of the cameras.

The health care debate is a perfect example - the Democrats have killed every attempt to add specific provisions against taxpayer-funded abortions and care for illegal aliens. Why? Because they expect the courts to add those provisions based on the current legal environment. Do we blame lifetime tenure in the judiciary for this when it happens? I think not.

4. A Constitution that other nations have pointed out, and our own history points out - fosters opportunity for immense corruption or influencing by moneyed Elites. Notably, even in times of Hamilton and Jackson, by cabals of lawyers and NYC financiers.

No government is free of "influencing by moneyed Elites". I notice you make this assertion without mentioning how it could be changed to remove said "influencing". The framers built constitutional walls around the federal government so capture by the powerful didn't mean control of everything. But now portions of the plain text are simply ignored. I defy you to suggest a solution to that problem.

I don't know if you've been paying attention to political developments in Europe lately - by comparison our government, for all its faults, is a paragon of independence from influence by the powerful.

5. Venerators are loathe to admit that any Amending against any organized opposition by the cabals and by any special interest group or any Senator objecting to it under influence - is now structually impossible. The last Amendment that passed against any organized opposition was the Poll Tax repeal over 45 years ago in 1962.
The Constitution - broken or obsolete in parts - and no longer fixable by the mechanism the Holy Founders deemed adequate 220 years ago.


Of course it's fixable. Get enough people together with the aim of making a change and it will happen. I submit the reason nothing changes is the average person is increasingly happy to trade his freedom for the comforting embrace of the nanny state. The tools to modify the document are still there. What isn't there is the will to use them.

Paul Snively said...

Alan: Except for the fact that Credit Default Swaps (CDS) are largely unregulated along with the derivatives they were insuring--the collateralized debt obligations (CDOs)--all the crap AIG and the investment banks were peddling. Your article from the America Enterprise Institute was a swing and a miss.

Actually, not so much. But I understand that certain party lines must be upheld at all costs.

AJ Lynch said...

FLS:

Let's use a simple example.

The CRA mandates bank use uniform underwriting guidelines. Then the CRA says it's OK to approve a mortgage when the applicant's mortgage payment will be 45% of his gross income and the bank must include food stamps, or unemployment compensation [i.e non-permanent types of income]in the calculation of gross income.

Next, Fannie or Freddie guarantee guarantee these risky mortgages so the banks package up them because they are future worthless "assets" and sell them to investors.

Of course, many of these types of mortgages defaulted, the taxpayers got the bill but thankfully the banks, God forbid, were not guilty of redlining by denying mortgages to uncreditworthy people!

That is a example of how CRA contributed to the housing bubble and the mortgage meltdown.

Lastly, Sheila Bair has been a part of the Bush and Obama admins so I would not hold her up as some disinterested expert.

Jim Howard said...

Paul Snively, thanks for the useful links.

Methadras said...

former law student said...

And “Let me ask you,” she proceeded. “Where in the CRA does it say to make loans to people who can’t afford to repay? Nowhere.” The facts are simple, Bair said. The lending practices that are causing problems today were driven by a desire for more market share and revenue growth, not because the government encouraged certain lending practices.


Coupled with anti-discrimination laws that prohibit banks from essentially disqualifying people for home loans based on race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation and a whole host of other criteria, it is easier for a bank under CRA to go ahead and put out the loan than to suffer through a discrimination lawsuit. Thank you political correctness for being a basis for a lot of the mess we see in terms of defaults, repossessions, bankruptcies, and foreclosures in heavily Democrat minority enclaves.

reader_iam said...

I submit the reason nothing changes is the average person is increasingly happy to trade his freedom for the comforting embrace of the nanny state.


I submit that there is more than one type of average person--multiples, in fact. I further submit that one of them is increasingly disgusted by the futility of trying to engage any, engage with any, of our Potemkin pillars of political puffery.

Methadras said...

elHombre said...It's possible Republicans will learn the significance of this in 2010. Tea Party protesters and other conservatives no longer consider Repubs the lesser of two evils. It is now Evil A versus Evil B.

It may require the complete immolation of the Republican Party in order to resurrect constitutional government in the US. And by then it may be too late.


So you are willing to burn down the party in order to save it? Oddly, in my heart I agree with you, but realistically that is no way to win. If you want to change the party you have to change it from within. I don't see any other way outside of a total reshift to another party.

Robert Cook said...

"Coupled with anti-discrimination laws that prohibit banks from essentially disqualifying people for home loans based on race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation and a whole host of other criteria, it is easier for a bank under CRA to go ahead and put out the loan than to suffer through a discrimination lawsuit."

This is specious.

A bank should rightly be prohibited from declining a loan application due to the aspiring borrower's race, sex, creed, etc., but this in no way compels or implies that the bank must approve a loan for someone clearly unqualified to repay the loan.

There's never been any indication that banks gave loans freely to unqualified borrowers because they were afraid of discrimination lawsuits or of being in noncompliance with federal regulations. This is a fable that has been invented and promulgated by those who have a political objective in convincing the public it is so, either to assign blame unfairly or to divert blame from where it actually belongs, (or both, actually).

Eric said...

I further submit that one of them is increasingly disgusted by the futility of trying to engage any, engage with any, of our Potemkin pillars of political puffery.

Oh, you mean people who haven't come to grips with the fact that in a democracy of 300m people your influence as a person will be, roughly, 1/300,000,000 of the total? "Nothing's going the way I want so I'm gonna take my marbles and go home. Harumph."

Those people?

reader_iam said...

@Eric:

I was referring to one of those types (meaning, a group or type of people).

Also:

1) I have not just a rather, but in fact a very, firm grip indeed on the concept of my personal, individual, complete lack of influence on both our Republic and also on Democracy. That's not a joke. That's not snark. That's sincere recognition and acknowledgment.

2) I don't just take my marbles and go home. I vote. I vote in elections local, state and federal. (And that's not all--but, really, it's enough.) That might not mean anything, but still, I persist.

3) It's not just about whether I take my opinions and votes seriously. It's also about whether others are willing to do so. Eric, if you think my marble is that important, why don't YOU take it seriously? Why don't you ask me why and how I take it seriously? If you don't want or aren't willing to do so, who are you to snark? (Please note: I think you're under no obligation to do any of those things.)

Harrumph yourself, Eric.

jim said...

Gee, I wonder why more people don't take this blog seriously ...

You didn't complete the sentence in the Barney Frank quote...

"We are trying on every front to increase the role of government in the regulatory area."


Accuracy fail - but hot-button WIN!

Bonus points to commenter/s still desperately trying to convince others (& themselves?) that the CRA brought down the US economy - why, yes, I'm sure it was a very VITAL tiny fraction of one percent of the problem. Now go play with your Ayn Rand Action Figure, honey.